Working with Tomita's Planets

leading from
The Tomita Planets



a)  Two robots chatting

At the beginning of Alien, there is a scene where two computer appear to be in conversation with one another as Ridley had the idea from listening to the beginning of "Mars: Bringer of War" where there are two robot like voices chatting away with one another as if they were saying, "Shall we wake them up."

So the computer displays project onto the visors of these flight helmets and one computer goes "bink bong" and they start to talk

Ridley had the flight helmets on clips on the back of the seat so when the crew required them for certain conditions, they'll put the helmets on just as with flying a helicopter. Ridley didn't want to do the whole of the first act with people wearing helmet and it got to the point where he was to be asked about the need for these objects

So he was asked "Well, why the helmets then?"

Ridley's answer was "Well if you’re in rough conditions, ok? "

Source Quotes
  1. Ridley Scott: 'Cause I always remember using the music of (The Tomita Planets) with War of the Worlds (Mars Bringer of War) on the very beginning when Terry Rawlings and I were cutting the film. And Terry was a great…Terry is a great editor. And has a great sense of music. In fact I learnt a lot about music from Terry. And he was screwing around with (Tomita's planet) and that’s where I got the idea of the talking heads, from two helmets, instead of having a computer saying, you know, `shall we wake them up?’, ok, I’ve got the helmet, the flight helmets on clips on the back of the seat so when you’re coming in if you want it under different conditions you’ll put that helmet on like in these helicopters I’ve just been using which are so spacey they’re unbelievable, and everything’s inside the earphone so you can hear everything, everyone. And I tried the helmets on, and I didn’t want to do the whole act with everyone with a bloody helmet on so I said `well’ they said `why the helmets then?’ and I said `well if you’re in rough conditions’ ok?" But it’s a great beginning to have 2 helmets and suddenly one goes bink, bong. And they start to talk. I thought, that came from (Tomita's Planets) when I listened to his music and you have kind of talking computers which I thought kind of interesting. (report from interview with Ridley Scott for Alien Evolution)

b) Helping Sigourney with music
Ridley was working with Sigourney Weaver filming the sequence in Alien where she rushes around the corridors of the Nostromo that's on the verge of self destruction and soon comes face to face with the Alien beast and he thought to himself "whatever I can do right now, she's on her own",

Since Ridley loved Tomita's Planets album which he was playing in the editing room as a temp score and he loved Mars Bringer Of War, he wanted to use it to help Sigourney with her performance in the end sequence where Ridley said to Sigourney "Do you want some assistance?"

She replied "Yeah"

"Well" Ridley added "listen to this, I've been playing Tomita in the editing room as a temp track, er temp score"
  
Sigourney replied "Absolutely, anything like that would be brilliant"

Ridley then said "Look, I can organize half a dozen fifteen inch speakers down the side of the set and I've got this great piece of music which you may find extremely useful, 'cause not only does it sound like engines. It is extremely threatening and ominous."


And Sigourney Replied "Anything like that, what is it? let me hear it
"

Source Quotes
  1. Ridley Scott: "I wanted the alien to have certain kind of fascination and delicacy like this massive toy coming towards her, which was mesmerising, and I put this music up for her which seemed to help her so er. In fact when I got into the Nostromo, and also into the shuttle at the end, I lined the edge of the set with fifteen inch speakers and I played Tomita in the, in the er, in the er shuttle, absolutely full ball, so rather than silent set and me shouting action and Sigourney rushing around in silence, i said "do you want some assistance?', she said "Yeah", and I said "well listen to this" and I had The Planets by Tomita, and she liked that, because then it helped her, it just helped her to have the, that massive orchestration around her, it was, we had it right up and of course making Sigourney a very lonely figure." (Alien 20th Anniversary DVD director's commentary)
  2. (1:41:29 / 1:45:20) Sigourney Weaver: I loved that the music that you've picked and

    (1:41:31 / 1:45:22) Ridley Scott: Yuh, yuh, yuh

    (1:41:32 /1:45:22) Sigourney Weaver: what was the music?

    (1:41:33 /1:45:24) Ridley Scott: We used Tomita. Because I said, I remember saying about, we talked about this before, 'cause I was thinking, "whatever I can do right now, she's on her own",

    (1:41:41/ 1:45:33) Sigourney Weaver: mmhmm

    (1:41:43 / 1:45:34) Ridley Scott: right, so I said, "I've been playing Tomita in the editing room as a temp track, er temp score," Tomita.... you know who that is right? And he'd done Planets,  

    (1:41:53 / 1:45:43) Sigourney Weaver: yes

    (1:41:53 /1:45:44) Ridley Scott: and one of them was Holst's "War of The Worlds", War of the worlds was, no , not War Of The Worlds, Holst' s Mars , god of war is (01:42:00)

    (1:42:01 /1:45:46) Sigourney Weaver:right, right,right

    (1:42:01 /1:45:46) Ridley Scott
    : Mars  

    (1:42:02 /1:45:47) Sigourney Weaver: Which we used a lot in er Alien 3, I think                                                            
    (1:42:05 /
    1:45:50) Ridley Scott: Yuh, and I said, do you want... and I was very tentative about this, about suggesting it and I was really amazed when you said "absolutely, anything like that would be brilliant" and I said "Look, I can (1:46:00) organize half a dozen fifteen inch speakers down the side of the set and I've got this great piece of music..."

    (1:42:21 / 1:46:06) Sigourney Weaver: Mmm

    (1:42:22 / 1:46:06) Ridley Scott: Which you may find extremely useful, 'cause not only does it sound like engines.

    (1:42:27 / 1:46:12) Sigourney Weaver: Mmm

    (1:42:28 / 1:46:13) Ridley Scott: It is extremely threatening and ominous,

    (1:42:30  / 1:46:15) Sigourney Weaver:Mmm
      
    (1:42:31 / 1:46:16) Ridley Scott: And you said "erruurr anything like that, what is it? let me hear it" bang and we used that, and but it drew the sound guys crazy because everything had to be re-loo... whatever.
    (Alien Blu-ray Anthology and Quadrilogy mixed commentary)

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